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Since then, we discovered that this theory is brought to life by hundreds of environmental entrepreneurs who have made free market environmentalism a reality.To those whose stories remain untold because of our ignorance, we beg your indulgence.Their funding made it possible for the research.Research assistance and ideas from Holly Lippke Fretwell, Mike Houser, and Pam Snyder are also greatly appreciated.Without the staff, we would still be just thinking about this project.Finally, we thank our families for their patience in enduring our moods and time commitments.Names like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt Carnegie, Ford, and Morgan lead the cast of characters.In some cases these ’vital few’ invented new products or production techniques, but mostly they amassed capital, contracted with other input owners, and developed marketing strategies that lowered the cost of products and increased profits.It is impossible to predict the frontiers on which the next wave of entrepreneurs will leave their mark.If such predictions were easy, we might all enjoy the riches of successful innovation.Not surprisingly, therefore, business schools around the country, trying to teach entrepreneurship, are continually frustrated because switching on imagination and innovation is hard.Lacking any theory that explains entrepreneurship, about all that we can do is search the case studies of successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs to identify similarities.This search consistently reveals that vision alone is only part of what entrepreneurs possess and is of little value without other business acumen.Those who see opportunities also must be able to seize them by coordinating complementary inputs.For example, inventing the reaper was only the first step for Cyrus McCormick.Understanding entrepreneurship requires investigating these latter steps as well as the initial inventions.As entrepreneurs, these men recognized the value of the natural world at a time when most people saw nature’s frontier as a wilderness to be tamed.Of these early entrepreneurs, however, only Aldo Leopold saw the importance of linking the conservation movement to entrepreneurship, with all the trappings of finance, contracting, marketing, and, even profits.Unfortunately, many of today’s environmentalists have not picked up where Leopold left off.His entrepreneurial spirit has given way to political opportunism.The campaign to ’save’ the African elephant illustrates how political and financial agendas can overtake environmental realism.They raised millions of dollars to promote a ban on trade in ivory, although many African conservationists believed this would only further drive up the price of ivory and increase poaching.They gave little consideration to the incentives faced by African natives who directly bear the costs of living with the elephants.These people, many of whom live at subsistence levels, are being asked to preserve habitat, let their crops be destroyed, and perhaps even be killed to save elephants because westerners living in comfort thousands of miles across the ocean think it is a good idea.In the end, the campaign to ’save’ African elephants by banning trade in ivory filled the coffers of western environmental groups.Unfortunately, it reduced the potential for Africans to live in harmony with elephants because it prevented the indigenous population from profiting from good stewardship.A plethora of laws governing water, air, public lands, and endangered species used the stick as opposed to the carrot to achieve environmental ends.Certainly, some regulation was necessary, and the environment has improved.But growing acrimony has forced the environmental community to consider whether they might have slighted the carrot in the policy process.But even these discussions often assume that the incentives must emanate from the political sector.These entrepreneurs are meeting the growing demand for recreational and environmental amenities.Corporations are searching for ways to increase profits in environmentally friendly ways.Policy makers are facing the reality that a cleaner environment comes at an increasingly higher cost.It will not solve all environmental problems.But this approach illustrates how entrepreneurial solutions to small, local problems can provide the foundation for thinking innovatively about bigger problems.With rising incomes, the demand for environmental amenities grows.The former seem to be the accepted norm in a world where environmental crises dominate headlines.More Than Paper ProfitsTom Bourland, wildlife biologist and entrepreneur, preaches that the market can be wildlife’s best ally.He believes that the growing demand for wildlife and recreation provides landowners with powerful incentives to produce more wildlife habitat and more recreational opportunities.When he joined the company, its wildlife and recreation program was not designed to generate income but rather to keep neighbors happy, appease environmentalists, and stem the rising tide of government regulations placed on private timber owners.Bourland was hired as a token wildlife biologist to operate within this agenda, but he was quickly frustratedthe bottom line on the financial statement was driven by timber production.He noted the growing demand for hunting, fishing, and recreation, as well as consumers’ willingness to pay for quality experiences.Bourland’s environmental agenda had to give way to new realities.Charging fees for recreation represented a bold move for a timber company because it was bucking tradition.Some did not take kindly to having to pay.Also, wildlife populations were declining from years of poaching and excessive legal hunting.Hunters were complaining about too little game and too many people.They believed that fees for land use provided an effective strategy that would create stronger incentives for users to care for the land.A major part of the fee program included selling multiyear land leases to hunting clubs.Under the lease arrangement, clubs have a personal stake in stewardship of ’their’ areas.This forest served as a proving ground for management techniques that harmonize timber production and the needs of wildlife while earning profits from recreation.Exemplifying the innovative techniques pioneered at Southlands were experiments with prescribed burning.Fire is an important tool in the management of southern pine forests.Prior to the Southlands burning projects, deer, turkey, quail, and rabbit populations on the experimental forest were low.By the early 1980s, however, prescribed burning had dramatically increased populations of these species.By 1986, the program had made dramatic strides.The results convinced the skeptics.Managed fee hunting programs are gaining acceptance among hunters seeking exclusivity, safer conditions, and abundant game.Reaction to these market dynamics is influencing International Paper Company’s approach to wildlife management on approximately 2.3 million acres of land in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana.’Open’ lands are being converted to traditional fee access programs.Market research, consumer profiles, and customary financial tests are being employed to design commercial operations aimed at promising market segments.Future emphasis will be on customer relations and profitability.The company also began experimenting with other recreational packages.They left clumps of trees uncut while younger stands next to them grew, thus creating greater age diversity.They reduced the size of cut areas and made their perimeters more irregular and therefore more attractive to a greater variety of wildlife.They did not harvest large strips of trees and shrubs along either side of streams, and they planted food plots.These and other efforts have paid big dividends to wildlife as well as stockholders.Ten years after the inception of the program, game surveys showed that populations of deer, turkey, fox, quail, and ducks had increased substantially.According to company biologists, the main reasons are better habitat and less hunting pressure.Nongame populations have also benefited.Company biologists carry out an assortment of projects to improve habitat for these species, from putting up bluebird boxes to protecting heron rookeries.The 1990s have been a time of change and continued success for the program.Revenues from the program reached $10 million in 1990 and are expected to double rapidly.On the company’s timber lands in northern Maine, for example, the public pays daily fees of $3 to $6 and seasonal fees of $15 to $90 for camping, hiking, fishing, and canoeing.In the Adirondack region of New York, people lease cabin sites, paying $700 to $1000 per year.